Basic Cable Jollies…

Sometimes when network TV is in reruns or just plain bad, I flip through basic cable to see what’s out there.  One weekend, I sipped my coffee and watched several shows.  Some I’ve never seen before and some I just think are cool.

Aspire TV’s round table talk show “Exhale”  is simply good TV.  Host and moderator Renee Syler (former host of CBS’s This morning), along with actress Malinda Williams,  Journalist Angela Burt Murray, Comedian Erin Jackson and Writer/Executive Producer of HBO’s Insecure, Issa Rae discuss a variety of topics honestly and intelligently.  It was so cool to see Dr. Randall Pinkett (winner of Season 4 of The Apprentice) discuss what he’s been doing and how he continually serves the community.  What I love most is how familiar and caring these ladies are when they discuss the hard topics.  No yelling, just smart conversation.

I’ve only seen OWN TV’s “Iyanla’s Fix my life” once and it was the episode that featured Olympic figure skater, Debi Thomas.  I loved Debi Thomas. She went to Northwestern University at the same time I was in college doing a radio show on that campus.  She looked like me and was representing black excellence.  I was so proud.  Then I watched Iyanla try and fix her admittedly messy life.  I was heartbroken by what I saw, but felt creepy for peeking in at something that wasn’t my business.  Which is basically how I feel about this show.  Who am I to judge how somebody runs their life?  I know people will say, “but it could help others in the same situation.”  I don’t know.  I have yet to see anybody say in an interview “after I went on Iyanla, my life was fixed!”

I saw the ads all over the NYC subway for TruTV’s “Upscale with Prentice Penny” and decided to binge watch the first 3 episodes.  What a fun show and engaging host!  Penny is a writer whose work you may have enjoyed on Fox’s  “Brooklyn Nine Nine” and HBO’sInsecure“.  On Upscale, Penny explains he” thought the good things in life were out of his reach” and demonstrates how you can take ordinary situations and take them to the next level.  Like how to get a custom made suit and spend slightly more than what you might have paid at retail, or how to upscale a romantic night for two all the way down to choosing sheets and pajamas.  It’s a great show to watch on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Rashida Jones stars in ‘”Angie Tribeca” and it’s and back on TBS!  If you liked Leslie Nielsen or those absurdly silly Airplane and Naked Gun movies, this show is for you.   Try not to laugh at the sharp wit and broad humor with an a old-fashioned comic sensibility involving rat-a-tat sight gags and flat-out absurdity.  Deon Cole of “Blackish” co-stars as detective DJ Tanner and he fits right in to the ridiculousness.

TVOne presents a lot of independent movies from African American writers and directors. Easter Sunday I watched “For The Love Of Ruth“.  It stars Loretta Devine, Denise Boutte and Gary Dourdan.  It was basically a Lifetime movie without the violence and sleaze.  Perfect for lounging and snacking on the couch while flipping through Facebook.

The best thing about basic cable are the As Seen On TV Commercials.  Do you really think you can inflate your car’s tires with the Air Hawk?  Doesn’t that Turbo Scrub look kinda small?  I’m seriously thinking about getting the Swing Weights, oh and that Red Copper skillet too.



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